I wore my Victoria's Secret kelly green sweater dress, Payless tan bootines, Kohl's animal print scarf, and Fashion Bug white fake fur jacket.
I hit the first mall (West Farms Mall) at 10:30 AM and headed straight to the dress department of JCPenney to search out the dress I saw on their website. I quickly found a rack of that very dress and there was one in my size. I also found two other dresses to take into the fitting room.
After I stripped down and prepared to try on my finds, I noticed that the dress that brought me to JCPenney in the first place had a huge brown stain near its hem. It looked as if someone had stepped on the hem with muddy shoes while they were trying on the dress. I was disappointed as it was the only one in my size, but I tried it on anyway to see if it fit, and if it did, I could try another JCPenney store or order it online.
I had a hard time pulling up the zipper with my long nails and with the dresses low back, I was not sure if I had zipped it up completely or had a ways to go. I just assumed it fit and planned to try another JCPenne later.
I tried on the other two dresses, as well as three more that I shagged during my second search through the racks, but they were so unimpressive that I cannot recall a single one.
Only one hour into my day out and the balls of my feet already hurting. I assumed that the 4-inch stiletto heels of my bootines were the source of my pain, but whatever the source, my feet were not going to take me to the opposite end of the mall to Sephora. Also, I wanted to shed my fake fur. It was too hot wearing it in the mall and I could tolerate the mid-40 temperature outdoors without outerwear for the short time out between my car and a mall entrance. So, I went back to my car, shed my jacket, and drove to the other end of the mall.
I had a shopping list for Sephora. I needed to replenish my powder foundation, translucent powder, makeup setting spray, and I had to replace the wig comb that I lost or misplaced. A Sephora sales rep greeted me and helped me find everything on my shopping list.
While shopping at Sephora, I encountered the sales rep who did my makeover over five years ago. She greeted me as if we were old friends, but just to make sure, I asked her if she remembered me. She said she did and when she described that encounter way back when, I knew that she really did remember me.
I thanked her for the words of wisdom she gave me during that makeover ("You only have one life to live and you should live it like you want. If someone has a problem, then it is their problem, not yours.") I have lived by those words ever since that day and I have been very happy doing so.
Paying for my purchases, the cashier complimented my perfume (Chanel No. 19) and informed me I had enough Sephora points to qualify for a free gift. I chose a tube of makeup primer, paid for my purchases, and headed for the exit.
Since I had parked at a Macy's entrance, I made a quick trip through their dress racks, found a couple of potential items, tried them on, but rejected them all. So I left the mall and drove to another mall (Westfield Mall) to try my luck at JCPenney.
Twenty-five minutes later, I arrived at the mall, but before heading inside, I decided to switch footwear to the flats I had recently purchased from Avon. Initially, they seemed comfortable, although they were a little tight. The "seemed" comfort lost out to the "little" tightness in short order.
In JCPenney, I found a rack of the dress of my quest. There were fewer dresses on this rack than at the other JCPenney and I thought that my odds of finding my size were not good. Lucky me: after checking the sizes of all the dresses on the rack, the very last dress I checked was in my size.
I grabbed two other dresses with potential and headed to the fitting room where I encountered the same zipper problem I had encountered with the soiled dress. Had I zipped it up all the way or not?
I managed to slip my arms out of the sleeves and revolve the dress 180 degrees to see what was what with the zipper. Turned out it had about five inches to go; there was no way I could zip it up all the way without removing some ribs.
Going in, I figured that the dress would fit because I had another dress that size in the same brand (Allen B.) that fit perfectly. And when I tried the dress on, it looked great on me. So I was very disappointed; so much so that I did not even consider the two other dresses that I had dragged into the fitting room. I exited JCPenney and walked around the mall.
I visited Torrid and found their "optical illusion" dress to be interesting. I took a size 14 and 16 into the dressing room. To my surprise, the 14 fit and looked great, but I was not ready to spend $75 on a dress that did not outshine the $35 JCPenney dress.
My feet were not liking my tight shoes, so I visited Payless, which was just across the way from Torrid. They had a bunch of shoes in my size on sale, plus they were having a Buy One Get One (“BOGO”) at half price sale, so I tried on nearly everything they had in my size.
I purchased the two most comfortable pairs: a cute pair of black Mary Jane flats and a pair of black open toe sling backs with a 4-inch heel. Despite their heel height, I wore the slingbacks the rest of the day without a problem. By the way, between the sale and BOGO, the two pairs of shoes cost a mere $24.99.
The saleswoman at Payless was one I had dealt with a few times in the past at different Payless stores. On those previous occasions, I was always in boy mode, but I tried on girl shoes in the store, so the she knew I was a girly-boy. Now she was seeing me for the first time en femme. I mentioned that fact to her and she knew immediately who I was and was happy to see me in my preferred gender.
My last stop was Macy's. They had a much better selection of cocktail and formal dresses, both new and clearance, than the other Macy's. I tried on a half-dozen dresses. They were all very nice and of very high quality, so I was willing to pay more.
I narrowed down the selections and bought a "short sleeve, tiered floral lace scalloped hem cocktail dress." But overnight, I got a bad case of buyer's remorse and regretted not buying a long black formal dress with a pearl-embedded halter neckline that was on clearance.
The cocktail dress is very nice and it looks good on me, but I have plenty of good-looking cocktail dresses, while I own nothing like that formal. So, I plan to stop at Macy's today and if that dress is still on the clearance rack, it will be mine.
UPDATE: I went to Macy’s during my noon break and the dress was still on the rack. I grabbed it and took it to the cash register. The sales woman, who rang me up said it was the last one she had and gushed over how beautiful it was.
I told her I tried it on yesterday while I was en femme and it did look beautiful on me. She asked if I performed and we got into a conversation about drag.
When she rang up the dress, I was surprised. Its list price was $199, but it cost me only $55.